Sunday, July 26, 2009

Black Sheep Sunday

Allan wasn't a quiet boy. He was a hell-raiser from the moment he could walk and talk.
He stayed in and out of trouble his entire life! He drank, he smoked, and he played as hard as he lived. At one point he even left his home state just to stay out of prison, knowing full-well that if he stayed he'd be in trouble one more time. And there was the "Three-Strikes" law. He'd be gone for good.
But everyone loved him. Irregardless of the things he did, and his wild ways, there wasn't a soul who didn't love him.
Eventually his wild ways caught up with him. And Allan was diagnosed with "The Big C", cancer.

Allan went home to spend the remainder of his days at his sister's house in Texas. Where he could be near those who loved him most. And best.

Allan was my husband's only full-brother. Their mother had 7 children. John and Allan were born with her first husband, Joe. Gary and JoAnn to her second husband, Ray. And David, Sandy and Richard were to her third husband, Eddie.

The whole family gathered in the summer after Allan was diagnosed. It was a reunion to celebrate life.
At this point, Allan was undergoing chemo therapy. His head was covered by a cowboy hat (as most are in the southern part of Texas). When Allan took off his hat, his baldness was hidden by a tatoo where his hair had once been. Wild boy to the end, a big "F. . . . You" [expletive omitted] was tatooed there.
It was a bittersweet reunion. While Allan was so full of life at the time, and the reunion was upbeat, those of us who lived a great distance away knew that it was also the last time we would ever see him.
In a quiet moment that week, Allan told me he'd found Jesus. He said there were so many things he was sorry about in his life, but he knew where he was headed. It was a comfort.
Several months later the call came one evening that Allan was gone. It was so hard to think of losing him. And so we have chosen to recall the funny, vibrant man that spent that week with us at the family reunion!
A couple of years later, when the family matriarch died, Allan's ashes were retrieved, and buried at her foot. A small stone lists his name and dates. When we visit the cemetery, it still seems so unreal, and we are approaching the 10th anniversary of losing him!
But, Allan was the black sheep. And as such, the perpetual joke stands, whenever someone gets into trouble that they are "pulling an Allan".
And the old Allan quote that will last for many years yet to come within the family stands as: "It's only wrong if you get caught!"
. Allan Ray Henry [1950-2001]

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